Until relatively recently, vegetarianism was considered a positive dietary alternative for Christians. Often considered a preference for those seeking better spiritual awareness for a season, biblical tradition still acknowledged that a plant-based diet wasn’t any more spiritual or moral than eating meat, therefore meat-eating was considered legitimate for humans; not prohibited and was even blessed by God.
But, increasingly, and especially in light of the current Green movement that wants to at least limit the eating of meat, alongside the relentless calls by other secular organizations and activists to end meat-eating altogether, it is now more important than ever for people to know what the Bible and biblical tradition have to say about the subject.
Within Christian circles, well-meaning people have been pressuring fellow Christians to turn from eating meat— a practice once historically understood as a Christian freedom— and are now asking them to embrace abstinence, but what many are calling “just a new bondage.” Christian leaders are warning the Christian community not to adopt a false commandment that is mostly based on secular activist’s personal convictions. Familiar choruses are now resonating throughout Christian communities:
“Meat-eating isn’t compassionate.” “Animals have rights too.” “Aren’t you concerned about animal suffering?” “We should include animals into the moral community.” “Would you kill and eat your dog Lassie?”
In response to this clamor, Castle Quay Books has brought together a broad group of scholars who have applied their expertise in a wide range of fields including biblical studies, theology, philosophy, resource management, communication, and generational animal farming, to write an accessible response for all Christians.
Contributors to the discussion cover both sides of the debate with their host of important views. Writers include well known authors such as Dr. Walter Kaiser, Dr. Wes Jamison, and Dr. Paul Copan, as well as other well-known authors.